NPR Blogs

Monkey See
2:54 am
Mon June 17, 2013

An 'Adventure' For Kids And Maybe For Their Parents, Too

Finn is in the middle, with the skinny arms. Jake is the dog. Together, they have Adventure Time.
Cartoon Network

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:27 pm

Count plenty of grown-ups among the millions of fans of Adventure Time, a kids' show on Cartoon Network. Some are surely Emmy voters. (It's won three.) Others are very possibly stoners. Still others are intellectuals. Lev Grossman falls in the last category. He wrote two best-selling novels, The Magicians and The Magician King, and he's Time's senior book critic.

Grossman's critique of Adventure Time? "It's soooo smart! It's sooo intelligent!"

Hang on. He's just getting started.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Turkey's Premier Says It's His Duty To Crush Protests

Protesters climb onto a police truck mounted with a water cannon during clashes with riot police at a demonstration in Ankara on Sunday.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday defended his order to forcibly evict thousands of anti-government protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square, saying he had simply carried out his "duty" as the nation's leader.

In a speech to hundreds of thousands of supporters, Erdogan also railed against foreign media coverage and social media amid criticism of his government's handling of the protests, The Associated Press reports.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

NSA Leaks Caused Terrorists To Change Tactics, Senator Says

Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speak to the media about the controversial National Security Agency programs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:22 pm

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss tells NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday that information leaked to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has caused terrorists to change their tactics to thwart detection.

Asked if Snowden, believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong, qualified as a "traitor" who should face U.S. justice, Chambliss, R-Ga., replied, "If he's not a traitor, then he's pretty darn close to it.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Sun June 16, 2013

How Do You Say 'Born To Ride' In Latin?

Pope Francis blesses a sick or disabled person wearing Harley-Davidson garb in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican on Sunday.
Andrew Medichini Associated Press

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:14 am

Pope Francis blessed a thundering parade of thousands of bikers on Sunday as Harley-Davidson riders descended on Rome to celebrate the motorcycle maker's 110th anniversary.

The Associated Press reports that the Harley's patented super-loud engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of "Our Father."

The AP writes:

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sun June 16, 2013

U.S. To North Korea: Dismantle Nuke Program, Then We'll Talk

The North and South Korean delegations meet at the border village of Panmunjom last week. The talks quickly fell apart.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 1:23 pm

The White House says it's open to "senior-level" talks proposed by North Korea, but only if Pyongyang lives up to its U.N. obligations to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Sunday that North Korea must meet "its obligations to the world." The U.S. will judge Pyongyang by "its actions and not its words," she said.

Earlier Sunday, Pyongyang proposed the high-level discussions with the U.S. just days after its direct talks with rival South Korea fell apart.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Jordan Says It's Ready If Syria Becomes Danger

Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets with Jordan's King Abdullah at the Dead Sea last month.
Jim Young AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah says his country stands ready to respond to any threat from a spillover of the civil war in neighboring Syria, a day after the U.S. announced it would leave fighter jets and Patriot missiles in his country after joint military exercises end this week.

"If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," Abdullah said, speaking to graduating military cadets.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Iran's President-Elect Meets With Caution In West

Iranians celebrate the victory of moderate presidential candidate Hasan Rowhani (portrait) at Vanak square in northern Tehran on Saturday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 9:27 am

Hasan Rowhani's stunning presidential election victory in Iran has opened the door for improved relations with the West, but the U.S. and Israel remain cautious about making progress on their key demand — dismantling Iran's nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the international community "must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program."

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Syrian Strife Draws In Neighbors, Global Players

A Syrian rebel aims his sniper rifle at Syrian government forces in the Sheikh Maqsud district of Aleppo, in April.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:49 am

The conflict in Syria may be first and foremost a civil war, pitting the Shiite-dominated regime of President Bashar Assad against mostly Sunni insurgents. But the region's turbulent geopolitics have turned it into a proxy fight that has drawn in the rest of the region as well as the U.S and other global powers.

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Shots - Health News
6:39 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Coping On Father's Day Without Dad

Marc Silver and his daughter Maya wrote a book about how teens deal with a parent sick with cancer.
Richard Nowitz Courtesy of Marc Silver

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 9:29 am

Steven's father had been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors didn't think he would make it. Pale and bald, he didn't look himself. Steven wanted to take a picture, made a video, just in case. Dad refused. "I got so mad," Steven remembers. "I regret not just coming up to him and saying, 'Dad, five minutes.' "

Steven's dad died on June 12, 2011. "The only time I can hear his voice is on our answering machine for two seconds," Steven says. "Hi, Heinz family, leave a message."

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Wave Of Attacks Leaves At Least 30 Dead In Iraq

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:23 am

A string of deadly attacks that appeared to be coordinated car bombings and shootings killed at least 30 people and left many more wounded across Iraq on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

The AP has more:

"Most of the car bombs hit Shiite-majority areas and were the cause of most of the casualties, killing 26. The blasts hit half a dozen cities and towns in the south and center of the country.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:51 pm

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Riot Police In Turkey Move To Quash Protests

Turkish mothers wave the national flag during a vigil on Friday in memory of those killed during recent demonstrations in Istanbul's Taksim Square.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 3:15 pm

(This post last updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)

Turkish riot police backed by armored vehicles sealed off Istanbul's Taksim Square, firing tear gas and water cannons to dislodge protesters after two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

The police moved into the square hours after an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Erdogan had given the demonstrators until Sunday, but police made their move late Saturday.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Facebook, Microsoft Reveal Requests For User Data

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests from government agencies during the last six months of 2012.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:08 pm

Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Firefighters In Colorado Gaining The Upper Hand On Blazes

A U.S. Army helicopter releases water onto the Black Forest fire outside Colorado Springs, Colo., earlier this week.
U.S. Army handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Firefighters near Colorado Springs say that a surprise rainstorm and cooler weather have rallied their efforts to push back devastating wildfires that have destroyed at least 473 homes in recent days. Two people have been killed.

Authorities say that some evacuations of residents in the Black Forest, Colo., area have been lifted and that the largest of the fires is about one-third contained.

On Friday, several thousand people were allowed back into their homes, but an estimated 30,000 are still being told to stay away.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Coordinated Attacks Rock Southwestern Pakistan

Pakistani police officers and volunteers gather at the wreckage of a bus destroyed in a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, on Saturday.
Arshad Butt AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:55 pm

A bomb ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 students from a women's university in Quetta. Shortly afterward, militants burst into a nearby hospital that was treating the injured. Pakistani security forces stormed the hospital and regained control after a five-hour standoff.

Our original post continues:

A bomb on a bus in Pakistan has killed at least 11 female university students and teachers, and hurt 20 others. Militants later attacked the hospital where the victims were taken.

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